This is a landmark paper which firstly provides an important backdrop to the huge growth of literature on PE over the last four years, and secondly, reviews stages in the PE process as seen by five authors writing in the 1980s (in the annex). The author makes the fundamental point that true, or "active", PE means the involvement of all stakeholders in the process of PE (most PE he observes is "passive" whereby the people are only listened to, and not truly involved). Active PE would entail members of the community controlling the evaluation process by, for example, being the interviewers [a technique that now forms a useful tool in PRA based evaluations]. Many of the questions and issues raised in this report are still highly relevant today. For example, the author's conclusion that the very process behind "active PEs" could mean that running of the overall project is improved, provides sound justification for the current drive towards incorporating PRA methods into PM&E of development projects.
This seminal report should be of interest to all researchers, policy makers and planners working at all levels. Both NGOs and large donor agencies alike will also find this article relevant.
Central Evaluation Office, UNDP.